Salvador Guevara Preciado, 17, a student at Panorama Senior High School, died on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Salvador's mother, Irma Guevara, believes her son died after a night of binge drinking. Salvador's friend Yesenia Camacho and others talk about the impact the star football player's death made on their lives. NBC4's Antonio Castelan has the story.
The mother of a Panorama Senior High School student who died after attending an alcohol-drenched party voiced anger on Monday at how people reacted to how the whole thing went down.
Irma Guevara said she believes her son, Salvador Guevara Preciado, found dead at a friend’s house on Saturday near school, might have survived a night of binge drinking had others sought medical help for him.
"He doesn't move, he doesn't answer and I just turned his body around and I see that he already passed away. He was purple. He was cold and he didn't respond," Guevara said.
"A lot of people could have done more to save his life," said Guevara. "I need more help to find out what happened actually that night."
Friends and family, meanwhile, were in shock at the star football player's death.
"It's very devastating to know that our friend is gone," said friend Yesenia Camacho, outside the school, where grief counselors were on hand and students paid tribute at a makeshift memorial.
Friend Mabel Marquez said Preciado was a loving person.
"No one is gonna bring him back," she said.
As an autopsy was being performed to officially determine the cause of death, his mother speculated that he either died after drinking too much, that his drink was spiked, or that he suffered a head injury after falling on a table at the party.
"If they did put drugs in his drink, that person is responsible," Guevara said.
The teen who threw the party at his home said the event was held to celebrate Preciado's birthday.
He would have turned 18 on March 18, said Ed Winter, with the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an administrative investigation after allegations surfaced that a seasonal assistant football coach may have driven Preciado from the party to another friend's house, but did not alert the family nor school officials of the boy's condition.
"On behalf of the Board of Education and the Los Angeles Unified School District, I would like to express my condolences to the family of Salvador Preciado, to his friends and to his school family at Panorama High School," LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement, adding that the incident occurred away from campus and was not affiliated with the district.
The district would not name the coach, but LAUSD spokeswoman Monica Corazo said the person in question was a walk-on volunteer coach who was never on the payroll and no longer involved with the program as the season has concluded.
Corazo added she does not know if the volunteer coach had any connection whatsoever to the incident.
Los Angeles police were awaiting results from the autopsy to determine a direction for their investigation.